You want to see fearful? Look at our political options and forget about zombies


I know my attitudes of the day place me well apart from the contemporary zeitgeist but, like Popeye, I yam what I yam.

What I am saying is that there are certain cultural trends that I cannot bring myself to embrace and indeed I have no interest in attempting to embrace. That’s mainly because I think they are boring and really, for grownup people, pretty puerile and stupid. But that’s just me.

So here are the popular fave-raves that I find to be insufferable pains-in-the-ass and tiresome beyond credulity. Either that or just gratuitously offensive.

Zombies: Let me be (apparently) the first to say that there is no such thing as a zombie. They only exist in the imagination and in certain voodoo mythology. They are no more real than Caspar the Friendly Ghost and most of them are about as scary as Caspar. The only decent zombies in film lore were the ones in Shawn of the Dead which is pee-your-panties funny and should be seen. You see, the filmmakers there poke fun at the genre because it is so silly. And if you think I am overstating this issue, there actually are grown-up, albeit not very smart, adults who believe that zombies exist. Sorry folks, dead is dead.

marvinRobots: By this I am not talking about ‘robotics’ which holds significant promise in so many realms. I mean, I’m not even talking about robotic sex dolls. I could, but that’s a whole other realm again. No, I am talking about the ‘robotic revolution’ in which we have been led to believe that not only will future bots do all of our tasks, but will also be capable of independent cognition like the ones in Blade Runner which you won’t be able to tell from regular flesh, blood, guts and pudendi human beings. Well, frankly, I don’t believe that will ever happen and therefore find exploration of the idea tiresome and unentertaining. In truth, the only robot I have ever had any use for is Marvin, the eternal but chronically depressed robot in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

buffyWerewolves and, God help us, overdone vampires: Like zombies, these are not real entities. So why are our TV networks cluttered with them? Have we all become 12-years-old. And love stories involving real human girls with creepy vampire dudes who, for whatever reason, are considered sexy. The only sexy reference to vampires came with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that was entirely due to Sarah Michelle Gellar and not to anything supernatural. And frankly there have been no sexy vampires since Bela Lugosi with that mellifluous Hungarian accent.

ghostGhosts: I loved the movie Ghost. Play a couple of bars of Unchained Melody and I’m a weepy goner in the only film that ever justified the existence of Demi Moore in the cinematic world. Otherwise, of ghosts, I don’t believe in them so I don’t find them particularly riveting or scary. You want scary ghost tales read Henry James’ Turn of the Screw.

Gratuity: I’m not talking about sex here. There is too much gratuitous sex around – or – depending on your attitude, not enough. No, what I am talking about is gratuitous graphicness. I know that dead people look like corpses, but do I need to embrace them for my viewing pleasure? Ever-popular (even though I haven’t actually watched it in years) CSI series thrive on autopsies wherein the deceased are subject to the indignities of all sorts of pathological indignities in full scrutiny. In the CSI Miami version this is despite the fact we viewers are subjected to (at least the 10 viewers who still watch this one are) the indignity of the ongoing existence of David Caruso. But even my regularly watched and otherwise admirable NCIS is guilty of parading some disemboweled poor stiff who ends up being subject to the rather tasteless wit of the otherwise lovable Ducky who will be munching a sandwich while the hapless and late petty officer lies on the examination table. Sometimes too much is too much.


6 responses to “You want to see fearful? Look at our political options and forget about zombies

  1. I also laughed at the Shawn of the Dead movie. So funny!! I know quite a few people (mostly college students) who believe that we really will eventually have a “zombie apocalypse.” They have figured out their survival plan and promised to come get me, as long as I have not “turned”! LOL
    WHAT!? You do not like R2D2 and C3PO!?? And Wall-E…well so adorable! I also remember the first robot I ever saw in a movie and it was Forbidden Planet with Robbie the Robot, who looked very much like the one in a later TV show who would say, “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”
    Bella Lugosi scared the beejeebers outta me, and I would sleep rolled up in my blanket like a burrito because I felt that the vampires would find it too difficult to get to my neck! It also made it difficult to get out of bed when I had to pee in the middle of the night!!

  2. I hope you are not referring to the very successful TV show “The Walking Dead” in your zombie rant. I was slow to catch on, because I thought it was about zombies, but it is not. The show is about human relationships in times of great hardships and it is really good. By the way, the word “zombie” has never been used on the show. As far as all the vampire stuff, nothing holds a candle to “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” All that modern tween/teen stuff is a bunch of blah blah blah.. Buffy was also about human relationships in times of crises (not a typo, meant to be plural). Plus Joss Whedon is also really funny, as evidenced on the “Firefly” series. And that show is also interesting because of their manner of speaking – very creative.
    Also I must point out that you mentioned politics in your title. That right there, that is just one reason we watch fun, interesting and thought-provoking fantasy/fiction TV. If your bear the weight of the world on your shoulders and feel guilty having fun, then you’re just Frank (my second husband). He already decided to be Atlas and be depressed about everything, so I’m going to play and have fun.

    • Indeed play and have fun. And since I have never watched the Walking Dead I cannot pass judgment on it. Loved Buffy but probably for different reasons than you, but I always found it well scripted and entertaining. And of course my proteststions go to hell a bit when I note that I am an avid Dr. Who buff.

  3. What?!!?!?! Zombies don’t exist? Have you never watched the morning arrival on Monday in an office?

    This said, I too am a fan of The Walking Dead. Basically, the walking dead are not the zombies, but the people left trying to survive. Plus they have kick ass special effects – if, like me you’re into gore… And the comics are, if anything even darker than the show. This is one thing where we differ. At heart, I am a 12 year old boy.

    • As I said I have never seen it so I plead innocence of censure. I don’t mind these things as entertainments, it’s just that some people actually believe this stuff. This makes them scarier than zombies.

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